Frequently Asked Questions

GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL AID

We are continuing to monitor the information regarding the government programs available to assist businesses (including Charities).

Here is the most recent information:

– Regarding Employment (Employees) –

There are currently two programs that could be interesting to the churches.

Here is a quick outline of what we know:

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
10% of Federal tax portion of payroll

Churches can withhold 10% of the Federal tax portion of the regular Deductions At Source.

Here is a link for further information:

– Click link

CEWS – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
75 % of payroll

The application forms for this program will be available Monday, April 27.

The key things we’ve picked up are:

The program will provide a 75% wage subsidy to employers for up to 12 weeks going back to March 15.

The purpose of the program is:

  • To prevent job losses.
  • To rehire those laid off.
  • Allow companies to resume regular activity.

Who qualifies?

  • Those with 15% reduction of income in March 2020 compared to March 2019.
  • Those with 30% reduction of Income in April and May compared to the same months in 2019.

Applying:

  • You must apply for the subsidy each month separately. (i.e. each month you must provide documentation of the 30% loss for that particular month).
  • The CRA will pay 75% of salaries, capped at $847 per week per employee. The employer must show they did their best to pay the other 25% (and if the employee makes more than $58,700 per year, presumably they are allowed to pay the full salary).
  • The government strongly recommends that anyone applying should also get set up with the CRA for direct deposit if they aren’t already, as that is the primary way they will be sending money to employers. This is something that you can do now.

Time Periods:

March 15 – April 11
April 12 – May 9
May 10 – June 6

  • If you qualify in one time period, you are deemed qualified for the next time period automatically.
  • There may be additional time periods added up until September 30.

Here is a link for further information:

– Click link

– Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) –

$40,000 loan 
This program would provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000.

Purpose of loan:

The loan is to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify:

you will need to demonstrate that you paid at least $20,000 in total payroll in 2019 as well as meet the criteria for an approved Borrower.

There is some question on the eligibility of a religious organization in this program. Currently, the wording indicates that a “…charitable, religious…organization…” will need to provide evidence that it “…generates a portion of its revenue from the sales of goods or services…”

While there is no definition of what “a portion” is, in my opinion, churches will have to prove that there is revenue from sales or services of some kind.

The important part in considering this loan program is that an approved borrower that repays the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

How to apply:

You will need to contact your financial institution to apply for the loan.

– Click link to know more.

  • PREMIUM HOLIDAY – your premiums for Health, Dental & Vision (where applicable) will not be billed for the month of April, which represents approximately 70% of the cost of your program.
  • POOLED PREMIUMS – will only be billed for Life/Dependent Life/LTD – Long Term Disability/CI – Critical Illness, which ensures that we do not disrupt any payroll setting, as these premiums have taxable consequences.  These premiums represent approximately 30% of the cost of your program.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

These two will do tax receipts for you:

Others:

  • Square https://squareup.com also offers both in person and online payments with credit and debit cards.

Look at: https://paoc.org/church-toolbox.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

The Legault government ask organizers to cancel all events that may attract crowds and to do the same for all other large gatherings that are not considered essential.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

The Public Health Agency of Canada National Director recommends the following: With regard to places of worship, all religious gatherings of any denomination should ideally be suspended, unless they are essential. In this case, social distancing should be observed.
(https://www.quebec.ca/premier-ministre/actualites/detail/le-gouvernement-du-quebec-mobilise-plus-que-jamais-assure-francois-legault/ )

Because of these guidelines and the fact that many of our congregations have a number of older people, we recommend that churches close all services and gatherings until further notice.
The District leadership also recommends that there should be no small group gatherings. However, if they are absolutely necessary, they should be very brief and follow the public health guidelines of the two-meter social distancing.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

Postpone annual members meetings

After communicating with the other Districts and also lawyers, the consensus is to wait. These are extraordinary circumstances, and we believe that the temporary delay is reasonable.

In the meantime, if there were board members whose terms were ending, we recommend that a board resolution be adopted, extending the mandate until the business meeting is held. You can hold a board meeting by phone or online.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

Reminder of copyright standards

We are aware that a number of churches have chosen to cancel services. Some of these will turn to video broadcasting online through various means.
We would like to remind you that it is a copyright violation to broadcast music performances if you do not have the performances rights (license) this includes your worship service. If you chose to broadcast the worship you MUST have the licensed rights to do so. Exceptions to this are for some of the older hymns where copyrights have expired due to age or song that you own people have written.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

District of Quebec free resource: Making the Bible come alive

From BC district: COVID-19 resources NEXT GEN

Visit: ABNWT

Visit our: Facebook – Instagram – Pinterest – YouTube

🌎 You’re itching to help your community but don’t know where to start?

Here are some ideas:
1. Some people are sewing masks for medical staff, are helping out at food banks, or are even grocery shopping for those who can’t get around.
2. Contact your city (e-mail). Their website may already have a press release on the subject.
3. The following link lists, by region and city, organizations looking for volunteers.
👉 https://www.jebenevole.ca/

💡💡 Why not also use this opportunity to mobilize your assembly?

Several churches have contacted the “Directeur de l’état civil” asking if they are allowed to perform weddings.
The general answer given is that weddings performed during this time will be considered legal.

However, does that mean that you can gather five or more people together?
The answer is “NO – but maybe”.

Each municipality and each local police force are responsible for applying and enforcing the regulations, AND they may have different opinions on what these regulations are and how they should be applied.

Our advice is to contact your local police (and or municipality) and ask them what they are allowing in your area and what they would allow in your building. – Be sure to get the name of the person giving you the information.

In some areas (outside of Montreal), police have allowed small groups of people to be in the church building at the same time, provided physical distancing is maintained.
In other areas, they have refused to allow anything more than three people.

You may also consider options such as an outdoor wedding. Again, it is important to consult your local police to see what would be permitted in your area.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

When it comes to funerals, the responsibility rests on the funeral home. Some funeral homes may allow small numbers of people. The number of people permitted may vary depending on their facility and the local municipality and police.

Read our newsletter on the matter.

May 13th, 2020

HEY! I WANT TO GET MARRIED,
AM I ALLOWED???

We’ve had a few questions coming to our office, the title is one of them – here is a short response:

– Weddings –

Several churches have contacted the “Directeur de l’état civil” asking if they are allowed to perform weddings.
The general answer given is that weddings performed during this time will be considered legal.

However, does that mean that you can gather five or more people together?
The answer is “NO – but maybe”.

Each municipality and each local police force are responsible for applying and enforcing the regulations, AND they may have different opinions on what these regulations are and how they should be applied.

Our advice is to contact your local police (and or municipality) and ask them what they are allowing in your area and what they would allow in your building. – Be sure to get the name of the person giving you the information.

In some areas (outside of Montreal), police have allowed small groups of people to be in the church building at the same time, provided physical distancing is maintained.
In other areas, they have refused to allow anything more than three people.

You may also consider options such as an outdoor wedding. Again, it is important to consult your local police to see what would be permitted in your area.

– Funerals –

When it comes to funerals, the responsibility rests on the funeral home. Some funeral homes may allow small numbers of people. The number of people permitted may vary depending on their facility and the local municipality and police.

– Annual Business meetings –

Finally, the question has come back to us regarding Business meetings.
Our opinion remains the same – unless there are extenuating circumstances, we feel that churches should wait until there is a relaxing of the regulations before holding the ABM. I noted in an earlier email that both ourselves and lawyers feel that this is acceptable and we have had no indication from the CRA to the contrary.

While some churches have attempted online Business meetings, the legality of this is not clear. Furthermore, there are complications involved in voting and asking questions in an online meeting.

Clearly, we would all like to see things change – however, until they do, we need to do our best to abide by the recommendations coming from the government. From our office, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you apprised of any changes we see.

—–
I trust that you will hold tight to our Savior during these interesting times. – The anchor holds! Hebrews 6.

John

April 22nd, 2020

GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL AID

We are continuing to monitor the information regarding the government programs available to assist businesses (including Charities).

Here is the most recent information:

– Regarding Employment (Employees) –

There are currently two programs that could be interesting to the churches.

Here is a quick outline of what we know:

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
10% of Federal tax portion of payroll

Churches can withhold 10% of the Federal tax portion of the regular Deductions At Source.

Here is a link for further information:

– Click link

CEWS – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
75 % of payroll

The application forms for this program will be available Monday, April 27.

The key things we’ve picked up are:

The program will provide a 75% wage subsidy to employers for up to 12 weeks going back to March 15.

The purpose of the program is:

  • To prevent job losses.
  • To rehire those laid off.
  • Allow companies to resume regular activity.

Who qualifies?

  • Those with 15% reduction of income in March 2020 compared to March 2019.
  • Those with 30% reduction of Income in April and May compared to the same months in 2019.

Applying:

  • You must apply for the subsidy each month separately. (i.e. each month you must provide documentation of the 30% loss for that particular month).
  • The CRA will pay 75% of salaries, capped at $847 per week per employee. The employer must show they did their best to pay the other 25% (and if the employee makes more than $58,700 per year, presumably they are allowed to pay the full salary).
  • The government strongly recommends that anyone applying should also get set up with the CRA for direct deposit if they aren’t already, as that is the primary way they will be sending money to employers. This is something that you can do now.

Time Periods:

March 15 – April 11
April 12 – May 9
May 10 – June 6

  • If you qualify in one time period, you are deemed qualified for the next time period automatically.
  • There may be additional time periods added up until September 30.

Here is a link for further information:

– Click link

– Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) –

$40,000 loan 
This program would provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000.

Purpose of loan:

The loan is to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify:

you will need to demonstrate that you paid at least $20,000 in total payroll in 2019 as well as meet the criteria for an approved Borrower.

There is some question on the eligibility of a religious organization in this program. Currently, the wording indicates that a “…charitable, religious…organization…” will need to provide evidence that it “…generates a portion of its revenue from the sales of goods or services…”

While there is no definition of what “a portion” is, in my opinion, churches will have to prove that there is revenue from sales or services of some kind.

The important part in considering this loan program is that an approved borrower that repays the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

How to apply:

You will need to contact your financial institution to apply for the loan.

– Click link to know more.

—–
I trust that you will hold tight to our Savior during these interesting times. – The anchor holds! Hebrews 6.

John

April 6th, 2020

Annual business meeting… What to do!

My Fellow Pastors,

I have had several questions asking if the church should hold the annual business meeting.

After communicating with the other Districts and also lawyers, the consensus is to wait. These are extraordinary circumstances, and we believe that the temporary delay is reasonable.

In the meantime, if there were board members whose terms were ending, we recommend that a board resolution be adopted, extending the mandate until the business meeting is held. You can hold a board meeting by phone or online.

I trust that you and your families are keeping well. Together we look to Him as we navigate uncharted waters.

John

April 2nd, 2020

GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL AID

– Employee benefits programs –

Thank you to all of you who continue to be faithful in your tithing to the District.
We are certainly living in interesting days, and we are praying for each of you as we navigate these waters together.

Some of you have asked about the method for tithing — can you continue to send cheques etc. The answer is YES, please continue to do use whatever method of giving you have used in the past. The District continues to receive mail, online giving and direct deposits.

Many of you are asking about the programs available from the government to assist businesses (including Charities). The details are coming from the government slowly. However, due to the number of requests for information I have received, I will share with you what we know so far.

– Regarding Employment (Employees) –

There are currently three programs that could be interesting to the churches.
Here is a quick outline of what we know — thanks to those helping me compile information. We will continue to keep you up to date as information becomes available.

Receive 75 % of payroll 
This program is NOT yet available but should come online in 3-6 weeks.

The key things we’ve picked up are: 

  1. All organizations that show a loss of 30% or more in revenue compared to the same month in 2019 qualify (March–May).
  2. If you do not have a 30%+ loss, and you have less than 18 employees, then the 10% subsidy will still apply to you (and you can withhold paying the CRA federal tax remittances up to Dec. 2019 to reclaim the 10%).
  3. For those who do have a loss of at least 30%:
    a.  They must apply for the subsidy each month separately (ie. each month they have to provide documentation of the 30% loss for that particular month).
    b. The CRA will pay 75% of salary, capped at $847/wk. The employer must show they did their best to pay the other 25% (and if the employee makes more than $58,700 per year, presumably they are allowed to pay the full salary)
    c.  The portal to submit monthly applications will be launched on the CRA – Revenu Canada Portal within the next 3-6 weeks, and they will get money out after that ASAP.
    d. They strongly recommended that anyone applying should also get set up with the CRA for direct deposit if they aren’t already, as that is the primary way they will be sending money to employers. This is something that could be done while people are waiting for the portal to open.

It seems that parliament will have to re-open to approve this program. That means there could potentially be some changes made.

This should be the best program for churches to keep staff right now, as long as they’re sure that their revenue will drop by 30%.

Here are some links for further information
– Click link 1 
– Click link 2 (This page is only available in English)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit ($2000 for employees)
This program is for individuals who have lost their jobs or have been laid off
– Click link

Temporary Layoffs and employees collect EI 
This is the standard EI program. However, you could register for the Supplementary program if you would like to “top up” your employees’ EI benefits during a temporary layoff.
– Click link

You can add EI subprogram
– Click link (This page is only available in English)

I trust that you will hold tight to our Savior during these interesting times. – The anchor holds! Hebrews 6.

John

March 30th, 2020

Considering layoffs — Please wait.

Dear friends,

I’m sending this out ahead of time and without all the information because I want to encourage any church that has considered laying off staff to wait.

Today Prime Minister Trudeau promises that the 75% wage subsidy for businesses would extend to non-profits and charities.

We are continuing to gather information and will give you more information as it becomes available. In my next email, I hope to outline the financial assistance that is available to churches and, in particular, the options for dealing with payroll and staff.

One positive that I can mention is regarding our Group insurance – here is the announcement from Kechnie Insurance:

Group Insurance:

  • PREMIUM HOLIDAY – your premiums for Health, Dental & Vision (where applicable) will not be billed for the month of April, which represents approximately 70% of the cost of your program.
  • POOLED PREMIUMS – will only be billed for Life/Dependent Life/LTD – Long Term Disability/CI – Critical Illness, which ensures that we do not disrupt any payroll setting, as these premiums have taxable consequences.  These premiums represent approximately 30% of the cost of your program.

I trust that you will hold tight to our Savior during these interesting times.
– The anchor holds! Hebrews 6.

John

March 25th, 2020

– All district activities scheduled until May 31 have been cancelled or postponed.
– Following the government’s recommendations, the District of Quebec offices are closed until April 13.
– We remain at your disposal via our social networks and the following email: info@dq.paoc.org.

March 24th, 2020

Recently I have had some questions about resources available to our churches and in particular about ONLINE GIVING.

The following is by no means exhaustive – but it may help.

Online giving:
While I am not an expert and cannot say what is best for your particular situation, here is some information that I trust will be helpful.

Here are a few of the services out their, listed in no particular order. There are also others.

These two will do tax receipts for you:

Others:

  • Square https://squareup.com also offers both in person and online payments with credit and debit cards.

In my experience Canada Helps is the fastest to setup – but not cheapest.
PayPal is the best value.
And Square allows you to take credit cards in person by swiping.

For other church resources 

I would recommend a look at: https://paoc.org/church-toolbox.

March 19th, 2020

Important release: COVID-19

Dear credential holders,

A month ago, it would have been hard to imagine that our province and our country would take extreme measures in the midst of the COVID-19 WORLD PANDEMIC. As we watch the increase in reported cases day after day, our government leaders are asking us to join in an effort to “smooth the curve” in the spread of this disease.
Reactions to this crisis have been mixed. Some believe it is an overreaction; others believe more needs to be done.

Paul, John and I will be contacting you by phone to check in on you and, together, to find the best way to support one another during this unprecedented situation. We recognize that, as leaders, you are in the best position to make decisions that are appropriate to your local context.

1. No public gatherings

The Public Health Agency of Canada National Director recommends the following: With regard to places of worship, all religious gatherings of any denomination should ideally be suspended, unless they are essential. In this case, social distancing should be observed.
(https://www.quebec.ca/premier-ministre/actualites/detail/le-gouvernement-du-quebec-mobilise-plus-que-jamais-assure-francois-legault/ )

Because of these guidelines and the fact that many of our congregations have a number of older people, we recommend that churches close all services and gatherings until further notice.
The District leadership also recommends that there should be no small group gatherings. However, if they are absolutely necessary, they should be very brief and follow the public health guidelines of the two-meter social distancing.

2. Encourage other ways of celebrating

If you have the technology, organize online services such as Facebook Live or video.

Encourage your congregation to organize family worship times. Family worship was once a common practice among Christian families throughout the week, even with participation in Sunday worship.

3. Keep in touch with your congregation

Take this opportunity to call, email or send social media messages to your congregation. This will reassure and encourage people. Take this opportunity to pray with them.

4. Postpone annual members meetings

If you have not yet had your annual business meeting, wait until public meetings are allowed again.

5. Set up online giving

Now is the time to set up other ways to give. There are different ways to donate, such as Canadahelps, PayPal, etc.

6. Reach out to the elderly

This is a good time to offer service to the elderly in your church and community who may need help with shopping and other needs.

7. A call to prayer

Finally, let us call our congregations to pray for the wisdom of government authorities, both federal and provincial, who are leading us through this difficult time. Let us also pray for our front-line health care workers who are sacrificing themselves to serve us in this health crisis.

Let us lead our assemblies calmly and confidently, knowing our God. Let us be responsible Christians who care for those around us with love and sacrificial concern.

Knowing that his friends would soon be confronted with unprecedented difficulties, Jesus said in John 14.27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

May the peace and wisdom of Christ fill your hearts at this time as you lead your congregation in this unique season.

If we can be of help in any way, do not hesitate to contact us.

In Christ,
Michel

March 14th, 2020

Reminder of copyright standards

We are aware that a number of churches have chosen to cancel services. Some of these will turn to video broadcasting online through various means.
We would like to remind you that it is a copyright violation to broadcast music performances if you do not have the performances rights (license) this includes your worship service. If you chose to broadcast the worship you MUST have the licensed rights to do so. Exceptions to this are for some of the older hymns where copyrights have expired due to age or song that you own people have written.

March 12th, 2020

To avoid a situation similar to that of Italy, one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legault government has just issued new procedures to be followed (article link).
The Quebec District wishes to apply these measures and we urge you to do the same.

– They ask organizers to cancel all events that may attract crowds of more than 250 people and to do the same for all other large gatherings that are not considered essential.
– They also encourage all those returning from a trip abroad to isolate themselves for 14 days.
– They advise people to stay home and call 811 if they detect the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or chest pain, severe diarrhea or vomiting, and unusually severe fatigue.

One of our churches has already taken action by communicating the following message (shortened) to its congregation:

Just a quick note to let you know that the leadership team is following the current coronavirus situation with great attention. The situation is changing rapidly and has just moved to a new level.
Here is a simple summary:

1) Anyone who has travelled outside the country within the last 14 days, even without symptoms, is invited to remain voluntarily isolated at home for 14 days (please refer to the attached document).

2) Anyone who has travelled out of the country within the last 14 days and who has flu-like symptoms should call 811.

Those who have not travelled out of the country and who are not sick are obviously welcome to attend our meetings. We will have hand sanitizers available for you and we will have fraternal hugs from a distance, but the heart and good mood will be there for sure!

Please know that as a church we believe it is important to comply with these recommendations, not out of fear or paranoia, but out of sincere concern to do what is right in the face of the current situation. We will keep you informed of any changes. Thank you for your cooperation and prayers.

Hoping to have answered most of your questions, do not hesitate to call 811 for more information.

By calling 811, you will know where to go to get tested and what instructions to follow.
Stay in isolation at home until the test result is returned.
(Please refer to the attached very well done document).

We exist to provide support, vision and training to leaders in our churches

and to facilitate the proclamation of the Gospel.